Walter leaving and shift to XP.
Joshua N Pritikin
jpritikin at pobox.com
Tue Apr 22 19:25:12 EDT 2008
On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 05:29:58PM -0400, Ivan Krstić wrote:
> "Eventually, Negroponte added, Windows might be the sole operating
> system ... Negroponte said he was mainly concerned with putting as
> many laptops as possible in children's hands."
> -- via Associated Press
Naughty Ivan, you are quoting out of context: "Eventually, Negroponte
added, Windows might be the sole operating system, and Sugar would be
educational software running on top of it."
Considering the complete sentence, it is clear to me that this is a case
of the reporter being confused by technology. We all know that Sugar
could never run on Windows as well it as can run on Linux. The laptop
might run Windows or Linux or both, but not Sugar on Windows.
The article continues: "That might disappoint advocates of open-source
software who helped bankroll OLPC and cheered the challenge it
represented to Microsoft's dominance."
Sure, I would be disappointed. But let's look at that scenario. Suppose
OLPC was bought out by Microsoft and all laptops came loaded with
Windows. OK, at least we still have Sugar. The game changes thusly: How
long will it take to make Sugar better than the proprietary
But that's basically the same game we are playing, in any case. And we
have been playing that game for decades and winning.
The article continues: "Wayan Vota, whose OLPC News blog reported
Bender's departure Monday, said he feared Sugar would get neglected on
XOs that run Windows."
Whose side is Wayan Vota on anyhow? I am not sure whether he is biased,
but his ability to analyze news is nil. He's a rumor mill. He thrives on
hyperbole and unconfirmed reports. Get a grip people.
At least Ivan quoted this part properly: "Negroponte said he was mainly
concerned with putting as many laptops as possible in children's hands."
I don't know about you, but that makes sense to me. Carol Lerche is
right: we need to be pragmatic and get this laptop into the hands of the
children who can benefit even if that means our software stack is
tainted with a little proprietary software.
By my judgment, I'm glad Richard Stallman isn't running OLPC. He would
have delayed the launch until we have a GPL'd replacement for the mesh
firmware. As it is now, we have a laptop which is more pure license-wise
than any other laptop available at about half the cost of the
competition. And we have had mesh networking in production for about six
months. Who else has mesh networking? Nobody. That's not an ideal
position; we should replace the firmware. None the less, it is a pretty
To hold that position, we have got to stop wasting time discussing FUD
and make the software work. As I noted, we have to do that anyway, even
if we didn't have a lovely green laptop as a delivery platform. The race
is on for educational software. Even when teachers are smart enough to
prefer free software, teachers are going to use whatever software is
available. Let's make free software available.
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